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Move over, Morgan Freeman! It’s Octavia Spencer’s turn to play God.

Spencer has had one major year, all thanks to her Oscar nominated film, Hidden Figures, and now, the star’s streak is continuing with the new spiritual drama, The Shack. 

In the film, based on the 2007 novel by William P. Young, Spencer plays Papa, a.k.a. God. That’s right, GOD! “It’s exciting,” she recently told HipHollywood about the role.

While audiences follow the tangible spiritual journey of a man played by Sam Worthington, fans quickly realize that the portrayal of God is unlike any other — an African-American woman who can throw down in the kitchen and enjoys reggae music.

When asked if Spencer ever thought God could be a “sister who could cook,” she responded: “What I know to be true of this character, it’s about expediency. God is manifested this way because a Black woman was the only person to show a young Mack [Sam Worthington] kindness.”

The Shack, also starring Tim McGraw and Radha Mitchell, hits theaters on March 3.

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EXCLUSIVES

She’s Gotta Have It: Is Ilfenesh Hadera Spike Lee’s New Muse?

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We all know Spike Lee loves working with the same actors over and over again. And in some cases new up-and-comers who go on to be Hollywood A-listers. Think Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Rosario Dawson.

Now it seems it’s Ilfenesh Hadera’s turn. The actress of Ethiopian decent has worked with Spike Lee four times: in the 2011 Mike Tyson TV movie Da Brick, in 2013’s Oldboy, in Chiraq playing Ms. McCloud and in his upcoming Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.

Hadera told us she believes it’s because of Lee’s commitment to diversity that he tends to hire the same actors multiple times.

“If you look at his body of work you see he’s worked with Rosario over and over, [John] Turturro over and over, Mekhi Phifer over and over so he finds talent, new talent and gives them a chance and if more directors did that maybe we would be more represented in the media … God bless him for that,” she said.

Now with 30+ years and countless films under his belt, Lee is bringing his first feature, She’s Gotta Have It, back to life, in a 10-episode Netflix binge debuting Nov. 23.

Hadera, who plays Opal Gilstrap in the series, told us Lee had hinted that he would be bringing his 1986 directorial debut to Netflix and wanted her to be apart of it.

“We had worked together a lot and he had been giving me little hints that this was in the works so I was like let me go back and watch [She’s Gotta Have It] again.”

Like the original, SGHI follows Nola Darling (played by DeWanda Wise) a twenty-something woman living in Brooklyn, New York exploring her sexual identity as she juggles a host of colorful suitors.

As for if this is Hadera’s final time working with Lee, we think not. 2017 has already been an amazing year for the 5’10 beauty with roles on the big and small screen in Baywatch, Billions and Master Of None.

 

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